The King of Beers Is Now Only America's 4th Most Popular Beer

Lester Mason
January 23, 2018

Budweiser, which has been reigning as the "king of beers" is now number 4 in sales in U.S. Budweiser lost to Miller Lite in 2017, according to Beer Marketer's Insights, the publication focused on beer industry statistics.

Budweiser - the King of Beers and the top seller in the U.S. until 2001 - is now in the No. 4 slot.

Bud Light knocked Budweiser to second place in 2001.

All four of America's best-selling beers posted declining domestic sales in 2017, according to market research firm IRI, which tracks sales at "off-premise" locations like supermarkets and convenience stores.

The shipping volume of Bud Light from the US was down 2 million barrels compared to 2016, the largest annual drop that the trade publication has ever recorded. Miller Lite shipments fell by "just" 375,000 barrels. Michelob Ultra and Modelo Especial both jumped ahead of Natural Light to become the sixth and seventh best-selling beers. Part of it has to do with the rise of craft beers. That's the biggest yearly drop the trade publication has recorded since it started tracking sales in the mid-1970s.


At one time, the top ten beer brands comprised close to 66% of the industry, reports CNN. In recent years, this has shrunk to 50% as more and more drinkers turn to craft beer.

But there are signs that craft beers are starting to slow down, too. Summit Brewing, Magic Hat, North American beverage and Green Flash did as well as shipment volume has fallen by 14% the last five years. Smuttynose, New Hampshire's largest independent brewer, is being auctioned off.

Boston Beer Co. and Sierra Nevada, the largest two craft breweries have had shipments fall.

The craft industry is maturing and may not have much more room to expand. "There is a limit at some point", Stanford said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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